Monday 4/9 ~ I want to do this. Help me.

The scripture for today, April 9, is 1st John 4:9f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

00-1st Century Worship KINDLE-COVER-Thumbnail“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: Not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

How perplexing. We are stymied. There is no solution. We humans do not have the will to live perfect lives. We give in to sin. We can never get it right. Romans 6:23 says the wages of sin is death. In the Old Testament era, God let people kill an animal in their place whenever they sinned, but it had to be done over and over. But still, every time we sinned, our souls died a little more.

Then came our answer, our rescue our solution. But the cost.  It was so high.  God sent his Son to us for a while with a body so his Son’s body could be killed (collecting our wages, the cost of our sins) in our place.

Finally, God invited mankind to bring our souls back to life through him ~ that is, become Christ-ians. How do we become alive through Jesus? Of course, we know about believing Jesus was the Son of God and repenting of our sins. Also Romans 6:4 says when we are baptized and come forth out of the Spirit’s watery womb, our souls are born again and we now have a new life.

But it does not stop there. We must try the best we can to live as Jesus lived, speak as Jesus spoke, love as Jesus loved. With Jesus living in us, we are his mouth, his hands, his feet. It is then that we offer our own bodies as daily sacrifices (Romans 12:1).

Oh, Lord God.  I want to do this. Help me.  Help me.

Friday 3/16 ~ Then God played a trick on Satan

The scripture for today, March 16 (3/16), is John 3:16 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BK 7-ShadowOfDeath-Cover-new-Thumbnail“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Guess what? Many people have heard there is such a scripture as John 3:16, but they do not know what it says. And among those who do know what it says, many have no idea what Jesus dying on the cross has to do with going to heaven.

It is important for us to read the entire Bible so we can understand the isolated scriptures we hear or read. There was a song written several years ago called, No Man Is An Island. No scripture is an island either. Just as every person influences other people in some way, every scripture influences other scriptures.

The meaning of John 3:16? Romans 3:23 says “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” And Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is [spiritual] death.”

There are certain truths that cannot be broken. For example, it is impossible for God to lie.  Another truth is that both good and evil exist.  It is obvious both are in a battle to win.  Satan is the seat of evil.  God is the seat of good.  God is stronger than Satan.  How do we know? Whatever Satan does, God can undo. When Satan causes someone to be sick, God can heal them. When Satan causes someone to sin, God can forgive them. When Satan causes someone to die, God can bring them back to life.

Satan held mankind hostage because we all sin.  The ransom to free mankind was the death of someone who had never sinned. Only one being had never sinned ~ God.  But God was smarter than Satan. God sent his Word down to us in flesh (John 1:1f, 14) ~ Jesus ~ who lived that perfect life that is impossible for us to live.  Then, the fleshly-part of God paid the terrible ransom: He died physically and spiritually on the cross. 

The ransom was now paid (Matthew 20:28 and I Peter 1:18-21). Then God played a trick on Satan. Only the flesh part of Jesus died. And even then, that body came back to life.

Today, we have a choice: Become a Christian or tell God the way we live is none of his business. Think.  Think about this.  Deeply.  “God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son.”  Understanding the price he paid to keep y out of hell, how can anyone walk away from him?

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Tuesday 1/2 ~ Your soul is getting along well

The scripture for today, January 2 (1/2), is 3rd John 1:2 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

inside-cover-medium“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

Our health may be bad, our finances in an upheaval, our home damaged by wind or water, our job about to be lost. But we can still smile.

We can still rejoice that our “soul is getting along well.”

When problems come into our life ~ and they do ~ remember the most important thing is your soul. No one and no thing can touch your soul as long as you are safe in the arms of Jesus. So when problems do come, you can still with confidence rejoice that your “soul is getting along well.”

Sunday 12/31 ~ Only forever

The scripture for today, December 31 (12/31), is Luke 12:31 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:

0-BOOK 7-SHADOW-ChildsCartoonMedium“But seek his kingdom and these things will be given to you as well.”

Do we actively seek God’s kingdom? Or do we drift and feel like God should feel obligated to take us into his kingdom and into his heaven? Do we feel like we’re “not so bad”, so God would be bad to not take us into his kingdom and into his heaven?

Heaven is God’s home, not ours. God has a door into his home, just like we have a door into our home. God is not required to open that door to just anyone, just like we are not required to open our door to just anyone.  We cannot just show up at the door and smile and assume he will let us in, any more than people who knock on our door and smile can assume we will let them in.

We let people into our home who we have gotten to know and whose motives we trust. Have you given God a chance to get to know you and trust your motives? Are your motives to enter heaven, God’s home? Do you even like God?

This life we live on earth is not our permanent life or residence. This is just the foyer to our eternal home. Do we live like the earth is all there is? Do you fear hell?  Do you prefer heaven?

You are about to enter a brand new year. Today, decide to start over fresh and set your new goal: To live in God’s home where there are no more years. Only forever.